Automotive component manufacturer PATEC is going to built a new plant in Miskolc. As part of a EUR 5 million project the company will establish a 15,000 sqm production facility which will create some 400 jobs in a region.
'This is our huge site, a perfect place for our new facility' - Andy Wong, PATEC’s Assistant General Manager said greeting me at the company’s warehouse on the outscirts of Miskolc. According to an official announcement, made during the visit of the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó in Singapore in May, PATEC - as part of a EUR 5 million project - will establish a 15,000 sqm production facility in the coming year.
The new facility will enable the company to serve its main customers from the automotive sector more effectively. This announcement is very good news for Miskolc and surrounding areas as the company will create some 400 jobs in a region where unemployment is relatively high.
PATEC is not a newcomer in Miskolc, it has been running a small component production unit there since 2008. But the current upswing of the automotive sector may have been considered by the Singapore headquarters as a huge opportunity and the central management probably wanted to capitalize on that.
When asked about the company’s reasons for choosing Hungary, PATEC’s Miskolc General Manager Kelvin Wee proudly said: ' In Hungary we have an easy access to Western Europe, the infrastructure is advanced compared to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Slovakia or Romania and thanks to the motorways, we also have access to Eastern Europe.'
Skilled labor force is crucial for such a big investment but PATEC is in a relatively good position as it has already developed production related cooperation with the local Technical University in Miskolc. Some of the students are involved in testing for PATEC and later may join the company. However, PATEC has to face a minor shortage of engineers as many of the new graduates are approached by other players of the sector too. 'Yes, there is a shortage of quality engineers in the region but do not forget: PATEC is a long term player and provides a good platform for young, dynamic talents who want develop their skills in our field". - the General Manager argued.
Over the course of my visit to Miskolc I could not miss one point which I ask every company I visit in this sector: When asked about setting up a Research and Development site or a Service Center in Hungary, bearing in mind that apart from its core component manufacturing business, PATEC is famous for its integrated engineering solutions, which rely on sophisticated work of in-house experts, Kelvin Wee explained:. 'For now it is too early because it requires a lot of experience. Even at our plant in China it took about 15 years to start a R+D center. I think it will take another 5-10 years to start training local people here but I do not exclude to establish such a center on the long run. I also think that it is good to have R+D centers in different countries within our global network as different people can bring in different ideas which may result in better quality'.
Incorporated in 1992 and headquartered in Singapore, with research and development centers in Japan and China, PATEC started as an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) of high performance mechanical press machines (Link Motion) and robotic systems.
In 2001, the company diversified into components manufacturing and subsequently established manufacturing facilities in China, Indonesia and Hungary. These subsidiaries supply precision metal formed components and sub-assembled components to leading automotive and electronics companies throughout the world.
Applications for automotive components include engine transmission systems, exhaust systems, brake and safety systems. Applications for electronic components include consumer electronic products, mobile devices and HDD (Hard Disk Drives).
Through the years, PATEC strengthened its core competencies in the development of integrated engineering solutions, by constantly seeking to understand and exceed the demands of the metal forming industry. With an in-house global manufacturing infrastructure, PATEC provides a full suite of metal forming expertise, specializing in fine-blanking, cold forging and metal stamping. Coupled with in-house tool/die design and fabrication facilities in Singapore and China, PATEC supports customers who require concept testing, process conversion evaluation, turnkey manufacturing and series manufacturing.
Today, PATEC Group employs more than 1000 staff in 2 research locations, 5 production sites, and 6 service centers worldwide.